The German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, today signed a project contract to support the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM). For three years, GEOGLAM will receive a total of approximately 800,000 euros to support continued uptake of satellite data for bolstering global food security.
Against the background of sharply rising and fluctuating food prices in 2007/08 and 2010/11, the G20 countries adopted the Action Plan on Food Price Volatility in 2011. Its operational components are the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and GEOGLAM. The main product of GEOGLAM is the Crop Monitor. It provides an overview of crop estimates for corn, wheat, soybeans and rice. These four crops account for over 80% of global trade in key food commodities. As a side-effect, technical standards are emerging worldwide through practical application. GEOGLAM also co-develops crop monitoring systems in countries susceptible to food insecurity. These systems help ensure food security by accelerating the transfer of science based information for better policies and proactive response programs.
GEOGLAM works together with the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and is one of the four flagship initiatives of this organization. GEO is an international intergovernmental initiative to coordinate and promote Earth observation. It is concerned with improving the availability, accessibility, and use of Earth observation (from satellites and in situ measurements) to support policy, business, and society in a wide range of sectors. The global priorities are based on the Sustainable Development Goals and the requirements arising from climate change and disaster risk reduction.
In times of climate change, forecasting extreme weather events is becoming increasingly important. Droughts and other extreme weather events threaten global food security. This reinforces the importance of valid forecasts based on a broad and reliable data base. In the future, the need for crop forecasts (global warming, population development, crop and price development of agricultural products, early warning systems instead of retrospective reaction) is therefore expected to continue to increase.
GEOGLAM helps to create analysis from satellite images whose information forecast the impact of extreme weather events at an early stage. In this way, global networking, knowledge transfer, and supra-national trade can be used to respond to the consequences of extreme weather events.
"GEOGLAM supports food security worldwide, is sustainable and innovative. It is therefore an instrument for the future of agriculture and food security. Countries where food is not always secure can be alerted to potential crises in crop production at an early stage with the help of this data and thus counteract supply shortages and hunger crises," says Julia Klöckner.
""The German Ministry of Food and Agriculture´s support will go a long way to ensure the stability of GEOGLAM, and it will allow us to work together with our partners around the world to bring about a food secure future," emphasizes Ian Jarvis [GEOGLAM Program Director]. NASA Harvest is NASA's contribution to GEOGLAM and works closely with all aspects of GEOGLAM including AMIS and Crop Monitor for Early Warning. GEOGLAM Program Scientists Inbal Becker-Reshef [NASA Harvest Program Director] and Alyssa Whitcraft [NASA Harvest Deputy Directory and Manager], and GEOGLAM Co-Chair Chris Justice [NASA Harvest Chief Scientist] look forward to continued work with GEOGLAM and thank Germany for its continued support.